This is something I was thinking about while replying to another thread. How to people that have always been thin and healthy, not struggled with weight gain, how do they see food, how to they stay thin and healthy? Is it a conscious effort, realizing that they need to watch what they eat and managing to curb their appetite before things get out of hand? Is it completely unconscious, just eating what they know is good for their body and stopping eating when they are full?
I remember one time when I had taken some cookies over to a friend's house and everyone took one except one person. I wasn't offended or anything but it stuck with me because I thought to myself that if the situation was reversed I would have taken one without even thinking. It seems to be one of those social things we do, if someone offers us food we take it so as to be polite. But this woman was not really thin but she was a healthy weight and as far as I knew never had problems with her weight. Since then I've wondered to myself how they do it, what is it that we are missing?
Does anyone know anyone that is naturally thin, never had a weight problem? Pick their brain would you, I'd be interested in hearing the different responses. We might even learn a thing or 2.
03-27-2007, 10:23 AM
My 14yo DD is like that. But she's a gymnast and also works out 15 hours per week. But, what I do find is that even when it's her favorite food, she will only have it if she's hungry, and then she eats until she's not hungry. She hates the "I'm so full" feeling and so she doesn't eat to that point. She packs her lunch and puts in one or two snack bars of chocolate per day and that's her treats. She rarely eats dessert. If she's hungry in the evening she'll have a piece of toast or a bowl of cereal instead of sweets. And usually if she's hungry it's because she didn't eat a lot of dinner.
I think that naturally healthy people just eat when they're hungry and eat until they're full. As for your cookie story, maybe that person just didn't like cookies. My DD doesn't like chocolate that much. Just a few kinds of candy, but it's usually skittles or something like that. So when people bring over chocolate cake, or cookies, she just doesn't care. She's actually a picky eater, and I think that keeps the temptation at bay too. She just doesn't like half the junk food out there.
03-27-2007, 10:35 AM
I also have a DD who is like that. She is 26 years old now, and a size 2 or 4. I have always had "healthy" food in the house - always lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and I have always been a Mom who cooked dinner every night. Jennifer is not one who exercises "regularly" either. She just is always busy - never setting down or still much. She has always (even as a small child) preferred eating fresh fruit and yogurt over junk stuff (which BTW was always available here all those years too) If she wanted something sweet, she would grab a couple of marshmellows or a piece of chocolate - she was never one to set down and eat a whole piece of pie or cake. I remember once when she was in kindergarden (LONG time ago!) the teacher was so tickled with her ~ she had asked the kids what they would do if they were hungry when they were at home.....Jennifer replied, "I would go get some yogurt and a banana". :D Sooo....even though I have been a horrid eater all my adult life, I did manage to raise a child who knows how to make wise food choices! Too bad I didn't follow her eating habits.
03-27-2007, 10:45 AM
My mum and sister have always been thin, and although my sister has had health problems they weren't related to her diet. They both serve themselves smaller portions and rarely go back for seconds. They also seem to have less cravings and aren't as fond of junk food, my sister in particular doesn't like fries and one or two squares of chocolate satify's her. They are both naturally petit, have a tiny bone structure and tiny feet. My mum's mum always served small portions so I think my mum learnt it from her and passed it on to my sister.
I though am like my dad, he is over 6 foot and is a big build, he also loves his food like I do. His mum served huge portions, in fact they are so huge that the first time my mum went to her soon-to-be parents-in-law's house for a meal, she thought she was being asked to serve the whole family when a mountain of food was put down in front of her (the mountain turned out to be just her portion).
I think our appetite and attitude to food might be somewhat genetic but ultimately it depends on the habits you have learnt, whether from someone else or yourself.
03-27-2007, 11:36 AM
My beautiful mother. She is 5'4" and weighed around 115 my entire life (size 4-6).
She definitely loves food and loves eating, but she's one of those "only eats when hungry" "sometimes, just forgets to eat if she's not hungry" kind of people. Doesn't go back for seconds, doesn't do a ton of snacking, hardly ever has junk or cookies or anything like that in the house. Can eat 1 cookie and stop. Packs her lunch for work every day (sandwich, fruit, little baggie of chips), hardly EVER eats fast food.
Picture of us in November, Mom's birthday dinner at Salish Lodge in Snoqualmie, WA:
Another thing the "healthy thin folks" do is eat only things that taste good to them. I find that I will eat things that aren't so tasty just because I don't want to appear to be ungrateful or rude. But, that doesn't seem to bother them, and it is actually rather smart because they eat only things they truly enjoy and in moderation. That is really the trick anyway...we just have to take on those habits too.
03-27-2007, 11:50 AM
My Dad...6'2 and 170lbs. Dad eats only when he's hungry and he eats fairly healthy foods...lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, lean meats and very few sweets or snacks. As far back as I can remember, he has taken a handful of vitamins and supplements every morning. He used to run 4 times a week for years. Now, he speed walks. Dad is the most positive minded person I've ever known. His glass is always half full...never half empty. I've never really seen him stressed out...he's very driven, but also very calm about it. When problems arise, he has never turned to food...he just prays.
03-27-2007, 11:50 AM
My DH has never had a weight problem. The biggest difference between me and him is he stops when he's full. He doesn't over-eat even if it's his very favorite food.
My son is 21 yrs. old and is very slender. He actually tries to gain weight and never really gains. He is almost 6 ft. and weighs about 142 lbs. currently. He has always loved almost any type of vegetable and he's a big protein eater. But, he could care less about sweets. He never cleans his plate. He rarely eats bread and I've never seen him use butter in his life. He hates mayonnaise and always uses mustard. Give him a good steak and a plate of asparagus and he's a happy little camper. He would prefer cantaloupe anyday over a piece of cake. Why couldn't I be like him?
03-27-2007, 11:58 AM
The naturally thin people that I know just don't spend a lot of time thinking about food. They eat and that's that. They don't seem to have a relationship with food, nor do they obsess about it. They eat it and move on. It is not their best friend, and they don't seem to turn to it when they are in need of comfort or even when they are stressed. They seem to rely on cues like their stomach grumbling to tell them it is time to eat more than planning eating into their daily schedule.
They are NOTHING like me!
03-27-2007, 12:01 PM
Yup, an old coworker. Tall, slim ... ate more fruit than anyone I'd ever met. Ran for fun and relaxation. And I never saw her with her hand in the goody baskets.
03-27-2007, 12:04 PM
The difference between those people and us is that they didn't make all these emotional connections with food that we have made. They don't have an addiction. It's like alcohol -- I drink a glass of wine maybe once a month or so, and I enjoy it, but I don't have an addiction to it so I don't crave it all the time. With food, for many of us, we've set up all these associations with food that have nothing to do with hunger -- comfort, stability, stress relief, etc. People who never turned to food for those things in the first place generally don't have a problem with overeating because they see food for what it is: nutrition. Not that they don't enjoy their food -- I'm sure they do, just as I enjoy my occasional glass of wine. The paradox is that those of us who have an addiction to food end up being the ones who don't enjoy it at all, who scarf it down without tasting it and then wallow in guilt and sadness over what we've done. But...we're here, and we're dealing with it, so that's good.
03-27-2007, 01:03 PM
LisaMarie took the words right out of my mouth (well, I wouldn't have been able to put it so eloquently, but that's not the point :lol: )
I've mentioned before that my SO is very thin. Sure, she talks about food, thinks about it, and we go out to eat a substantial amount when we're visiting. But since I started being conscious about my eating habits, I watch people like a hawk when they eat to see WTH it is they're doing that keeps them that way. I have literally NEVER seen her even eat half the food on her plate. She loves to eat half and take the rest home for the next day. I have other small friends who do this, but not to the same extent. She eats SO slowly, too, and she's always been like that. You know, the kid who talks so much that everyone is stuck at the table while she finishes eating. Yeah.. that was SO never me :lol:
I suppose the relationship that I"ve personally had with food developed when I was very, very young... never leaving food on my plate, always looking forward to the ice cream at the snack bar rather than swimming and being active in the summer. I'm not sure what made me this way, or what makes people the opposite of me in that respect, but it's always something we can change and we can't lose sight of that!
Sorry Jen, i veered off topic a little but this really got me thinking! Great thread.
03-27-2007, 01:11 PM
I was having similar thoughts ~ wonderings. I was over at my daughter's house, and noticed that a little box of chocolate candy that I had given my grandson (he is thin, but not too much so) for valentines day was still hanging around. It had had just a few pieces of candy in it and only like a couple had been eaten. I was was just kind of amazed ~ I (even as a kid) would have had that gone by the end of the day. I could not fathom it being there and people leaving it alone and not eating it. :?:
03-27-2007, 04:33 PM
My daughter used to eat just a few bites of a candy bar, then put it away for later (or, sadly, give the rest to me). If I hadn't given birth to her at home, I would have thought someone switched her at the hospital. :D Until she got into her late teens, she was slender and active.
03-27-2007, 06:00 PM
Wow, some really great responses, thanks everyone! Also too a lot of things that I can try to aspire to do...serve myself smaller portions, listen to my body to know when I am full, eat more fruits and veggies, lose my taste for sweets, be more active...it is wonderful that these things come naturally to those folks, these are definately habits I will try hard to acquire and lose my old bad ones.
P.S. That woman I was talking about most definately did like cookies, I saw her eat other things I had baked but she was one of those who only ate when she was hungry and just then she wasn't hungry.
03-27-2007, 06:22 PM
I would definitely recommend a GREAT book I just finished reading - Mindless Eating (http://www.amazon.com/Mindless-Eating-More-Than-Think/dp/0553804340/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-9941994-2905545?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1175030413&sr=8-1). I absolutely loved it! The most important takeaway for me from the book - don't put it on the plate if I don't want to eat it. According to the book, pretty plates, that look full of food are actually big keys to satisfaction and being "full." People are also very susceptible to the naming of food, don't make "salad" - think of it as mixed baby field greens with assorted spring vegetables. I really found the book absolutely fascinating!
03-27-2007, 06:44 PM
Hey Glory - I just finished that book last night! :) It was definitely a very worthwhile read....fascinating stuff. I thought the stuff on portions and serving sizes was very interesting - how we tend to always think that an appropriate portion is whatever is put in front of us. I also liked the "20% more or less"" - dish out 20% less than you think you might want to eat before you begin, and for fruits and veggies, take 20% more (ie: if you cut 20% of your pasta, add 20% more veggies). The whole book had a lot of great tips that I know I won't forget.
And sorry - back on topic :) I do have a couple of people in my family who have always been naturally thin. They do definitely eat according to hunger only, and always stop before they are uncomfortably full. I'm trying to retrain myself to only eat to about 80% full - one thing I've been reminding myself every meal time is to give myself the benefit of the 20 minutes it takes for my body to register that I've eaten. Since doing this, I definitely notice that I'm satisfied on portions that are less than I would expect.
03-27-2007, 09:39 PM
I know lots of people who are naturally thin, without obsessing about their weight. My old boss was like that. She is going to be 63, but you'd never know it to look at her. She can still wear bikinis! She likes sweets from time to time, but just a thin slice. She has always liked exercise and rarely eats when she's not hungry. My brother-in-law has been the same size since he was in his early 20's, and has lifted weights since that time. He's just turned 60 and looks 20 years younger. I asked him how he's kept the motivation up, and he told me he just likes the way it makes him feel. It's not a burden to him. He rarely eats sweets, either. And my hubby is thin and he's a chef, but when he's ultra-busy, he forgets to eat. As if I could ever do that!
03-28-2007, 12:32 PM
I was just reading some stuff about colour and it says that purple is more likely to suppress your appetite so they suggest serving food on purple plates. Don't know if it will work but heck worth a try!
03-28-2007, 01:26 PM
LOL!! We could also try tinting all our food blue - apparently, we're genetically wired to consider blue food as poisonous, and that's why most people think blue food looks so unappetizing! :)